Sloane Stephens, an American tennis star, has become the latest renowned athlete to reveal her personal burden of what she described as “constant and gruelling” social media harassment.
After a third defeat to German Angelique Kerber at the US Open. Stevens, who voiced her worry, said that she was referring to her sacrifice. Many other black female athletes have recently been subjected to high-pressure sports mental health.
Stevens, who won the US Open in 2017 and was once ranked third in the world, said: “This isn’t discussed enough, but it’s terrible.” “I am human,” Stephens wrote on Instagram a day after receiving over 2,000 “messages of abuse/anger” following her third-round loss to Germany’s Angelique Kerber at the US Open.
One of the threatening comments read: “@sloanestephens, I vow to find you and break your leg till you can’t walk anymore!… I hope you had a good time on the court today.”
Her comments came in the midst of increased scrutiny on four-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka, who withdrew from the French Open and skipped Wimbledon this year due to mental health concerns. she were aggravated by the harsh light of media scrutiny.
Osaka’s situation raised public awareness of the mental-health issues that professional athletes face, particularly women and athletes of colour.
Taylor Townsend, an African American former junior world champion, claimed in a CNN video that she had also gotten abusive social-media comments calling her a “piece of s—” and criticizing her for “my body, my ethnicity and my skin colour.”
Stevens also stated that she had received many nice messages too and was grateful for them.
“I’m grateful to have folks at my side that believe in me. I prefer a happy environment over a bad one… However, it is not always accompanied by a smile and a rose.”
On Sunday, she posted on Instagram, thanking followers for their “kind and caring message” and expressing hope that “this conversation will continue.”